Bread Worth Stealing from an Old Lady: Marble Rye


I was watching Seinfeld again… and I just couldn’t get marble rye out of my head (Episode #117: George’s parents took back the marble rye they brought to Susan’s parents’ house and George came up with a plan to replace it so Susan’s parents wouldn’t think even less of the Costanzas than they already did which involved Jerry stealing a marble rye from an old lady.)

There might be close to a million recipes for rye bread and marble rye. I came up with my own — I have a bread book that happened to *not* have marble rye in it, but there was a formula for both pumpernickel and rye bread. I tweaked them both so that it would work for marbling (I had to do a lot of math to come up with this).

Marble Rye


  • 8 oz Rye flour
  • 6 oz Water
  • .0016 oz Yeast
  • 1 Onion, peeled and halved


Dissolve yeast in water. Mix in rye flour, stick in the onion and let sit in a warm spot, covered for 24 hours.


Rye Bread

  • 8 oz  flour
  • .16 oz salt
  • 4 oz water
  • .08 oz yeast
  • 4.8 oz starter
  • .24 oz molasses
  • .12 oz caraway seeds


Pumpernickel Bread

  • 10 oz Rye flour
  • 5 oz Water
  • .1 oz Yeast
  • 4.2 oz Starter
  • .2 oz Salt
  • .3 oz Molasses
  • .15 oz Cocoa powder
  • .12 oz Caraway seeds


The method for both bread is the same:

Dissolve the yeast in the water. In a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, combine yeast and water with all the other ingredients. Mix on low until everything is well-incorporated and a dough has formed. Increase the speed to medium for three minutes.


In separate bowls, cover and let rise for an hour and a half or until they’ve both doubled in size.


(I scaled the dough so both the pumpernickel and the rye weighed 17oz and then I divided them for two loaves, but in retrospect, I should have just done one big loaf)

Roll out each piece of dough into equal sized discs — about 8” in diameter.

Lay the pumpernickel on top of the rye. Roll up. Pinch the ends and place in a 9”x4.5” pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with plastic and let rise again for another half-hour.


Preheat oven to 450F.

Score each loaf and brush on egg wash.


Bake for 25 minutes — when it’s golden brown, use an instant read thermometer — it’s ready when the inside reaches 200F.

Remove bread from pans and let cool on a wire rack. Slice and eat.


The bread wasn’t perfect; the pumpernickel should have been a bit darker — perhaps more cocoa powder could have been used — and the marbling might have been more swirly and interesting if it was one big loaf. MANY more caraway seeds would have been good, too.

I will say that it’s soft and it tastes great. Totally worth stealing from an old lady.

Update: I made it again, added a lot more caraway seeds, cocoa powder and made the loaf bigger to make the swirls more pronounced.  I know it’s not supposed to be a perfect swirl, but I’m pleased with the outcome.


One Comment Add yours

  1. calliealdridge says:

    Those loaves are beautiful Rachel. I have never tried this type of bread before- looks like it tastes amazing!

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